Patrick Materman is the winemaker behind the new Brancott Terroir Series Sauvignon Blanc. Here he answers our questions about his life in New Zealand and at the winery.
Which Kiwi vintage was the most fun for you and why?
It’s a bit hard to single out one vintage because Marlborough is actually pretty consistent from one vintage to the next, which is a bit unusual for a cool-climate region. But if I had to choose one it would be 2013, which was the year where everything went according to plan. Right from the start, the weather was just perfect and we ended up picking the most spectacular fruit. It was a real reminder of why Marlborough deserves its global reputation for quality wine making.
Food and wine staples in your household?
Seafood is a staple in our house, and when I can I like to catch it myself, either diving for crayfish and scallops or fishing for blue cod. And when I can’t get out myself, the local farmers’ markets have a great local seafood stall. We tend to visit the Farmers’ Markets most weekends and for us, the staples are locally sourced and in season produce. One of the best aspects of living in New Zealand, and particularly Marlborough, is being able to buy fresh, local produce.
Most of what I drink is from New Zealand – Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and méthode traditionnelle, or in winter, Syrah from Hawke’s Bay.
The last good book you read?
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. He has a fantastic writing style that just draws you right in. I also enjoyed his first novel, The Kite Runner.
If you weren’t a winemaker what would you be?
I’d be working in the maritime industry, ideally as a full-time sailor. I love yacht racing but it would be a tough ‘job’ to juggle with a young family, so I don’t think I’ll be changing careers any time soon.
Favourite place to go on holiday?
Sailing to the Pacific Islands and enjoying time in tropical paradise, particularly Vanuatu.
Cricket or rugby?
Rugby, although I’ve never played myself and usually only watch the big games.
Favourite Kiwi rugby player?
Richie McCaw because of his skill, sheer determination and his ability to lead a successful team. From the English team, Owen Farrell certainly seems an impressive player.
Next up on your bucket list?
Kite-boarding. I’ve windsurfed for years and I’m sure some of these skills are transferable, but I’m keen to get some kite-boarding lessons: it looks a blast.
New and exciting plans for Brancott Estate coming up soon?
One of our big focuses at the moment is Sauvignon Gris, which is a varietal from France that we’ve introduced to Marlborough. We released the first wine in 2009. Since then we’ve had some fantastic vintages which have shown us the full potential of the varietal. This year’s Sauvignon Gris is one of the stand-out varietals for the vintage, and after five vintages we feel like we are getting a good understanding of the grapes and the effect of different viticulture and wine making techniques.
Also, we are looking at what we learned from our first release of Brancott Estate Chosen Rows Sauvignon Blanc and how we can apply this to other wines in the range and to crafting new vintages of Chosen Rows. We spent many years researching and developing Chosen Rows and learned an immense amount about Sauvignon Blanc. It’s given us a fresh perspective on how to create a diverse range of wine styles with this wonderful variety.
Many thanks Patrick! Below are a few photos from the stunning Brancott Vineyard in Awatere, plus on the blog this week we have a competition to win a case of Patrick’s new Terroir Series Sauvignon Blanc. Click here to find out more and enter the give away online.